Nothin’ Poor about the Poor Man’s Moorish Idol

Mother Nature must have a special place in her heart for marine aquarium hobbyists. It seems as though for every heartbreakingly challenging reef fish she created, she did us a solid by making a reasonable facsimile that is much hardier and better suited to aquarium life. Such is the case with the schooling bannerfish (Heniochus … [Read More]

Saltwater Confessions: Bizarre Marine Aquarium Blunders

After many years in the marine aquarium hobby—I’m not talking Paul B years here, but let’s just say a reasonable length of time—I like to think I’ve acquired a certain degree of wisdom with respect to keeping saltwater organisms. What I don’t care to admit is how much of that wisdom was actually gained as … [Read More]

Blackworms Mean Better Health for Marine Fish

Live worms are about the best thing we can feed to our fish. How do I know this? Am I just making it up so I have something to write? Actually, no. Live California blackworms have been used for ornamental fish food since a few years after World War II, as that is when I … [Read More]

Bodianus pulchellus: A Hardy Hogfish for the Spacious Marine Tank

Among the Bodianus spp. wrasses, commonly known as the hogfishes, are several species that, while hardy and beautiful, simply get too large for most home aquariums. But also among this group can be found a few choice species that remain small enough to be kept in manageably sized systems. Of these smaller hogs, one of … [Read More]

Aquarium Plumbing: True Union Ball Valves and Why You Should Love Them

One of the cool things about the reef aquarium hobby is that you tend to pick up some useful skills by accident. If it wasn’t for the reef-keeping hobby, I may never have developed a love of photography and videography. On the more practical side of things, I learned more than my fair share about … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Paul B’s 40+ Year Old Saltwater Aquarium

When it comes to standing the test of time, few aquariums have more history than Paul Baldassano’s 100-gallon glass box. Ask any aquarist who has spent time on internet forums, and they’ve likely encountered Paul (more commonly known as Paul B) and his tank. While Paul’s “old school” approach might seem odd to some folks, … [Read More]

Back Pain and the Big Marine Aquarium

Somewhere around age 40, I passed a point of no return with respect to bodily aches and pains. In my younger, carefree days, when the various jobs I worked demanded a lot of heavy lifting, I could pretty much tell my body what I wanted it to do and it would comply of necessity. Nowadays, … [Read More]

DIY Algae Trough—Fight Algae with Algae!

In my opinion, marine aquarium hobbyists have a fundamental misunderstanding of algae. It is not a disease, and it can’t be cured, as it grows on every healthy reef in the sea. We don’t usually see as much of it in the sea because of all the herbivores there and the fact that most of … [Read More]

Astreopora and Cyphastrea—So Similar, Yet Different

A few years ago, if you asked me about Astreopora or Cyphastrea, I probably would not have a whole lot to contribute to the discussion. They were (and still are to a large degree) some of the most rare corals imported and seldom seen in stores. I still remember the first time I saw a … [Read More]

How Much Time Will You Invest in a Saltwater Aquarium?

When a non-hobbyist visitor is observing one of my marine aquariums for the first time, among the questions he or she almost invariably asks—along with inquiring about the expense and the level of difficulty relative to a freshwater tank—is something along the lines of, “How much time does it take to maintain that?” My usual … [Read More]